K is an anime title you will not forget. It can be because of the endless search results (GoHands didn’t make finding this title easy) or because it is one of the most promoted anime of the season. It is an original TV project, but has, however, received a manga adaptation prior to the release of the animation. Curiouser and curiouser, as a popular old book says, this anime is promising a new and original story with a pleasurable experience for both the fans of fantasy and those of urban settings. Moreover, it is also presenting influences from Fullmetal Alchemist and other popular shows of the past…. but will it live up to the expectations?
First, I shall introduce you to the dry facts about the show – characters and staff. Then, if you’d like, you can read my own ideas on the upcoming show below.
(left to right)
“Oh, brother… We’re the ones who were playing with her first, you know.”
Izumo Kusanagi is a good and old friend of Suoh. He is the owner of the “Homura” bar and has a deep, prominent Kyoto accent. He is 26 y.o.
“Mikoto-san taught this to me. That’s why I am confident about it!”
Misaki Yata is a raid captain of “Homra” and is constantly on his skateboard. He’s an impulsive 19y.o. lad, whose values include friends and companions.
“Let’s go! Tear’em apart!”
Rikio Kamamoto is 20 years of age and, although his looks, is an honourable man with pride.
“Hey, it’s a nice night out. I came out here to take pictures of the night-time view, but what are you doing out here?”
Tatara Totsuka is one of the “Homura”’s original members. Together with Suoh and Kusanagi, he has created the club as it is. He is easy going and can talk to everyone.
Adofl K Weismann is a currently unknown character with a deep mystery around him. Neither age, nor relation to the story is known for the time being.
“This nation is finished”
Kaikaku Kokujoji is the so-called “King of Gold”. The times at the control of this second king of the nation are the best when it comes to economy and positions.
“Mikoto, don’t go.”
Anna Kushina is 11y.o. lady who plays the role of an unofficial mascot of “Homura”. She is quiet and likes to observe rather than participate.
“It’s gone?! Where did it go?”
Kukuri Yukizome is Shiro’s classmate. She’s very smart and a good friend. This qualities have given her the position of school student council member.
“I only believe in one thing – The words of my deceased master.”
Kuroh Yatogami is 18y.o. but with a lot of experience in life. He is a masterful swordsman and martial artist and can be a good housekeeper, too! A perfect butler for some.
“I… I am a cat!”
Neko is about 15 years of age and has a mysterious veil around her very existence. She suddenly appears before Shiro and then a new friendship begins. She hates wearing clothes and has heterochromia – left eye is blue while right is green.
“Um… I guess… I can’t just leave my friends behind, can I?”
Yashiro Isana is the constant joker and often asks his classmates to share their lunch with him. He’s 17 years old.
“There’s just one way. Just one way to lock me up forever”
Mikoto Suoh is one of the oldest members of “Homura”. He’s known as the Red King and is the third one. He is the leader of the Red Clan (a.k.a Homura itself)
”The Sword of Damocles is coming out”
Saruhiko Fushmi is the third in command of Scepter 4, the Blue Clan. He looks like the most unmotivated person in the world, but is in fact very competent and to-the-point when needed. He is 19 years old.
“We will advance with sword in hand. No injustice will be left.”
Reisi Munakata is the Fourth King a.k.a the Blue King. He is the leader of the Blue Clan (a.k.a. Scepter 4). He does speak in a polite manner, but is mostly rude.
“Warden Munakata is, as well, but we are also very traditional.”
Seri Awashimais the second in command of the Blue Clan and Munakata’s right arm. She has a cold and distant attitude towards most things in life.
Daisuke Namikawa as Yashiro Isana
Mikako Komatsu as Neko
Daisuke Ono as Kuroh Yatogami
Kenjiro Tsuda as Mikoto Suoh
Tomokazu Sugita as Reisi Munakata
Miyuki Sawashiro as Seri Awashima
Mamoru Miyano as Saruhiko Fushimi
Takahiko Sakurai as Izumo Kusanagi
Jun Fukuyama as Misaki Yata
Yui Horie as Anna Kushina
Yuki Kaji as Tatara Totsuka
Yuuichi Nakamura as Rikio Kamamoto
Satomi Sato as Kukuri Yukizome
Tetsuya Kakihara as Adolf K Weismann
Shozo Iizuka as Daikaku Kokujoji
Director & Character Design – Shingo Suzuki (Storyboard, Character Design, Chief Animation Director on Mardock Scramble)
Art Director – Masanobu Nomura (Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt)
Animation Production – GoHands
Chief Animation Director – Makoto Furuta
OP song – angela
Now, to get on with my great Kami-providence. First, I think I should make it all clear – Neko actually has the form of a cat throughout the anime as well as the one of a young 15y.o. girl. This is visible from some of the previews. After all, it can’t be reasonable to have a white kitten with Yashiro and a (somewhat) white-haired odd girl with him, called Neko and for the two objects not to be the same, right? She seems to be an oddball when in human form – ‘doesn’t like to wear clothes’? That says it all for me.
Here you can see a hint of what I’m talking about:
Another character I would like to point out is Seri – she is the obvious Fulmetal Alchemist link here (except for the quite similar uniforms of the Blue Clan). Did I hear someone say Riza Hawkeye? The right-hand-man of the leader, a trustworthy member of the team with great abilities – she is all this. Also, Seri also seems to have an unhealthy attitude to her own master. I am not even mentioning the visual similarities!
Unfortunately, although I am certain this project shares a lot of ideas and views with past hits and fails, I cannot tell you all about everyone of them, it would turn this preview into an analysis of the current state of anime and not what it’s supposed to be. Ahem – we can even see robots cleaning the streets… Why does this remind me vaguely of No.6?
As a whole, this show has the potential of something great, but can also be a trivial and boring same-ol’, same-ol’. It all depends on the production to show that these otherwise excessively adapted themes and settings can still be unique and new – school, school council members, a clan war, hierarchies… It can also become a mess since everything is not exactly linked in the beginning – shapeshifting girl, onmiouji-like young man, school council member (again) and the Red and Blue Clans. I can’t emphasise well enough on how much I hope this to be a success!
One last thing I will take a look at is the manga adaptation of the show – K: A Memory of Red. This makes me think of an entirely new idea and plotline – the Red King, the Third King that is. What happened to the previous ones? Who were they and why is Red so important as to make it the subtitle of the manga adaptation of the series? Sadly, there hasn’t been much of the adaptation to read by now, just a chapter, so I cannot base anything on it. The story of the manga, as officially stated, revolves around the Homura club and the mysterious superhuman abilities one gains immediately after joining it. Who was that figure known as the First Red King and what was he? How did he manage to create this club? This looks like the main plot of the manga, but what will the anime be like? After all, it is supposed to be the original project.
At the end of the day, this show looks great, shares some links with great series and looks original and innovative. It can go wrong, though, and it can be 6-feet-under if the viewers don’t manage to attach to the story in the first 2 episodes.
Images: © GoRa – GoHands/k-project © Copyright King Record, Co.,Ltd
Official K anime Website
Some names updated thanks to RedLightning.